Natural England Brought to Heel

15th October 2010 in Domestic Fisheries Policy

The Government’s cull of quangos is likely to carry huge implications for the way that Natural England will operate in future.

In addition to a major reduction in funding, the Government statement, reproduced below, makes clear that, like us, it believes that Natural England crossed a boundary from impartial advisor to gung-ho lobbyist, by quite some way. In addition, during its expansionist phase, in the run-up to the Marine and Coastal Access Act, Natural England barged into policy-making and fisheries management, fields where it had no expertise and no legal jurisdiction. It is now paying the price for its hubris.

The statement reads:

“Defra has been working closely with its largest environmental arm’s length bodies – the Environment Agency and Natural England – to ensure a radical and comprehensive package of measures which will transform them into leaner, more efficient front line delivery bodies focused strongly on the Government’s ambitions for the environment and the green economy.

  • There will be significant change across the organisations, to create a new delivery model that is the most effective and cost-efficient way to deliver, and exert leverage, in support of the Government’s objectives. Both Environment Agency and Natural England will: dramatically reduce their back office costs while keeping to the minimum possible reductions in delivery;
  • work more closely with other arm’s length bodies to eliminate any duplication in the work they carry out;
  • implement demonstrable culture change and lead on innovative new ways of working which embrace Localism, Big Society and an improved customer focus;
  • stop activity that Government does not need to do
  • stop policy making and lobbying activities.

Natural England

Retain and substantially reform – Reform through structural, process and cultural change to become a more efficient and customer focused organisation; and clarify accountabilities. Further announcements after the spending review”